FitzTheatre exists to put on a wide variety of shows in Fitzwilliam's spanking new auditorium.
An outstanding building, it promises to offer much to the musical and theatrical life of the college.
The intention of the society is to put on a wide range of plays and other shows (comedy, dance and musicals) directed and produced by people from within and outside college. We intend to put on a main production in Lent term of each year as well as a selection of smaller shows throughout the year that will be considered on an individual basis. Anyone is free to apply to direct a production here, and given a successful interview can expect the full financial backing of the society as well as the expertise of the committee and of course the new facility. The architect for the project was Allies & Morrison, founded in 1984 following success in the open competition to design a public square in front of the new National Gallery of Scotland, in Edinburgh. Since then, the practice has won much critical acclaim and eight RIBA awards.
To ensure that the Auditorium blends in sympathetically and in order to reduce the scale of the building within the scale of the gardens, one storey was constructed below ground and a sunken garden will add to the all-year colour of Fitzwilliam’s existing gardens. Wherever possible, the building uses materials from sustainable and local sources. The bricks, for example, have been chosen to match exactly the yellow Cambridge stock used to build The Grove nearly 200 years ago. Environmental and thermal aspects of the Auditorium’s space have been analysed, with particular attention to the control of solar gain by louvres around the glazed foyer. Natural lighting is maximised by the large windows. There is also an option for full blackout when required for dramatic performances. The new Auditorium is a first class modern, multi-purpose facility, which will greatly enrich the cultural life of the College and the local community. Moreover, the new facility will significantly increase Fitzwilliam’s power to attract the brightest and best students and Fellows in the future.
Acoustically, the auditorium is one of the best venues in Cambridge. With design consultancy from engineers at Arups Associates (whose acoustic projects have included Sydney Opera House, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Queen’s Building at Emmanuel College, and the Royal Opera House), the auditorium uses adjustable sound flaps to create an environment that is perfect for any use.